Sponsors
    Top How Tos

» How to Control Whiteflies and Aphids

How Did I Do It? > Home & Garden > How to Control Whiteflies and Aphids
» Sponsors

Whiteflies when viewed under a magnifying glass resemble moths. They are tiny, snow-white insect pests that are more related to scale insects. These insects look like flying dandruff when seen by the naked eye. Both adult and nymph stages feed by sucking plant juices. Heavy feeding by these pests will cause yellowing and eventual death to the host plant. Whiteflies are the most common and perhaps the most difficult insect pests in greenhouses and interior landscapes. The sticky honeydew excreted by these insects glazes both the upper and lower leaf surfaces that develop black mold fungus which retards plant growth and most often causes the drop of leaves. Once adults develop and emerge in your plants, they quickly infest other plants too.

Aphids, or plant lice are small, soft bodied insects. It is a common pest on almost all indoor and outdoor ornamental plants. They feed in clusters and prefer new, succulent shoots or young leaves. Like the whiteflies, they also feed by sucking up plant juices through a food channel in their beaks. At the same time, they inject saliva into the host. Aphid feeding often causes leaves to curl and become deformed. Control will be difficult once this happens because aphids inside the curled leaves are protected from contact with the insecticide.

How Did I Do It?

I use SOAPS. There are available soaps that are specially formulated for controlling insects and pests. If this is unavailable in your area, 3 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid per gallon of water may be applied as a spray to woody plants. For beddings and flowering plants, use 2 tablespoons only. Repeat this procedure at weekly intervals if necessary. This is the safest and most effective way in controlling the pests.

For Aphids – most people can remove aphids and keep populations below damaging levels by spraying their landscape plants with a forceful stream of water. Use a garden hose with an adjustable nozzle and spray undersides of leaves and stems when the aphids appear. Natural enemies also play a very important part in controlling aphid populations. Lady beetles, flower fly maggots, certain parasitic wasps, birds, and fungal diseases all attack aphids. These pests would be much more destructive without them. You should avoid unnecessary use of insecticides which are harmful to beneficial organisms.

For Whiteflies – To intercept the adults before they can lay eggs, try this procedure. Adult whiteflies can’t resist the color yellow for some reason. You can buy whitefly sticky traps or you can try making your own. Use yellow plastic plates and staple to a wooden stake. Coat the plate with something sticky like petroleum jelly. Place your yellow plate near your plants and it will soon be covered with adult whiteflies.

Controlling ants near your plants may help as well. Because whiteflies produce sugar-laden ‘honeydew’ which the ants relish, ants actually protect the whitefly larvae. Use ant baits to control them and this will leave the whiteflies vulnerable to other natural enemies.

Comments

There are no comments just yet

Leave a Comment

Add your picture!
Join Gravatar and upload your avatar. C'mon, it's free!